Arrive Alive

Involuntary

WHAT IF MECHANICAL FAILURE CAUSES THE CAR TO STOP?

Involuntary stop

What do you do when your car suddenly stops? Reach for your cellphone, certainly. Meanwhile, it's always a good idea to try to find the fault. If the breakdown is accompanied by clanking noises, or if some of the wheels have locked up, then it's most likely a serious problem. If there was no noise then there's a good chance that something small has gone wrong.

The first step is to take a good look under the bonnet for broken wires, a broken fuel pipe or any other obviously broken or leaking component. If there's no obvious fault, then you can swing into action by performing the following checks:

  1. What does the fuel gauge show? Running out of fuel happens to everybody occasionally.
  2. Check for a high-tension spark. Remove one of the plug leads and hold it close to a metal part of the cylinder head while somebody else winds the starter, with the ignition switched on. Ensure that you are not touching any metallic part of the plug lead, or you may get a nasty shock, literally. You should see an intense blue spark, if it's weak and yellow, or if there is no sign of a spark, inspect the rotor arm underneath the distributor cap, ensuring that it is not broken, or worn out. Also check that the carbon brush in the center of the cap is making contact with the rotor arm. If these items are in good condition, look at the low tension side.
  3. The low-tension wire runs from the ignition coil to the side of the distributor. It is a thin wire that often breaks off just where it enters the distributor. If it is intact, and if the car has an old-fashioned distributor with points, then you should take the distributor cap off and open the points slightly with a screwdriver while the ignition is switched on. A small spark should jump as you open the points. If the spark is visible then you can normally assume the low-tension side is fine, but if it is absent then there is some malfunction in the wiring. If the points are open when you remove the cap then you have to rotate the engine by means of the starter until they're in the closed position, before you try to open them.
  4. The last check is to make sure that fuel is reaching the carburetor. Remove the top part of the air cleaner, and see if fuel squirts into the carb throat when you move the arm attached to the throttle butterfly.

These checks will normally locate a significant portion of the causes of roadside stoppages.

Tips provided by CARToday.com/CAR Magazine

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

MVA Fund Partners with the Arrive Alive Online Initiative

MVA Fund Partners with the Arrive Alive Online Initiative

The MVA Fund and the Arrive Alive Online Initiative are thrilled to announce their partnership dedicated to safer South African roads and empowered recovery for accident victims. MVA Fund Providing essential financial relief to those impacted by motor vehicle accidents, ensuring you continue to

Read More

Motor Glass Solutions with Glasfit

Motor Glass Solutions with Glasfit

Change Your View, Change Your Daily Commute In the hustle and bustle of daily life, a cracked or damaged motor glass can quickly become a nuisance, hindering both your safety and driving experience. At Glasfit, we understand the importance of maintaining clear visibility and structural integrity

Read More

What Causes Lithium-ion Battery Fires?

What Causes Lithium-ion Battery Fires?

Behind the convenience of lithium-ion batteries lies a potentially hazardous science. SafeQuip, a leading distributor of fire-related equipment, delve into the construction of lithium-ion batteries, the phenomenon of thermal runaway, and potential hazards associated with these power sources. Understanding

Read More

Crime as a Threat to Windscreen and Vehicle Occupant Safety

Crime as a Threat to Windscreen and Vehicle Occupant Safety

On the Arrive Alive website, we find several pages dedicated to the importance of windscreen safety. It is important to recognize that windscreens are specifically designed to add strength to your vehicle - your windscreen contributes up to 30% of the total strength of your vehicle. Should your vehicle

Read More

Traffic Colleges / Academies as approved by the Minister

Traffic Colleges / Academies as approved by the Minister

Address Head of the College Contact Details Name of Training Institution Provincial Colleges Postal Address: Private Bag X4000 Mutale 0956 Physical Address: Thengwe Road (Next to Mutale Driving

Read More

Response to Witnessing Unsafe and Reckless Driving

Response to Witnessing Unsafe and Reckless Driving

In the development of the Arrive Alive website, we strive to provide information that could assist with road safety awareness and make our roads safer. Our road users often participate and share information as to what they observe on our roads. This includes video footage from dashcams and cellular

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All